The Society for Applied Microbiology submitted written evidence to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee inquiry into sustainable seas in May 2018. This evidence submission introduces current research on the marine microbiome and discusses the impacts of pollution and climate change on microbial biodiversity. The economic potential of marine microorganisms is also discussed. Our response presents a number of key recommendations for the UK Government's approach to our seas:
- Utilise the UK’s access to marine ecosystems worldwide, including those around its overseas territories to extract as much data on the health of these ecosystems as possible. Assessing microbial diversity may help us to define what constitutes a ‘healthy’ ocean.
- Encourage marine-based businesses to invite surveyors of microbial biodiversity to be present at their marine sites (e.g. fishing boats or oil rigs).
- Invest in pioneering research into the potential uses of marine microbes to help clean up pollutants such as plastics and oil, as well for the development of new products and biofuels.
You can download a copy of our written evidence below.